Earlier this year, game developer BioWare laid off 50 of its team members in its main studio in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Today, it was revealed that seven of those former team members have filed a lawsuit against BioWare.
Gamesindustry.biz reports that the lawsuit was filed to Alberta's Court of King's Bench, by the seven unnamed former BioWare employees by Worobec Law, which is representing the group.
While the former team members are not disputing the decision by BioWare to cut ties with their employees, they are saying they didn't get as much severance pay as is usually required by local laws.
Under those laws, most cases of termination without cause require that the employers offer one month of severance pay per year of an employee's service. The seven BioWare employees, who reportedly have an average of 14 years each at the studio, alleged that BioWare offered far less severance pay than what is required.
The lawsuit claims that some of the affected workers tried to negotiate with BioWare to get a higher severance but were refused, which is why they are now heading to court.
The team members all seem to have worked on the upcoming RPG Dragon Age: Dreadwolf at the studio. One of the unnamed former BioWare employees stated in the lawsuit:
In light of the numerous recent industry layoffs and the fact that BioWare’s NDAs prevent us from showing any of our recent work on Dragon Age: Dreadwolf in our portfolios, we are very concerned about the difficulty many of us will have finding work as the holiday season approaches.
So far, BioWare and its parent company Electronic Arts have yet to offer a statement about this lawsuit. At the time the studio announced the layoffs earlier this year, it stated that development of Dragon Age: Dreadwolf would continue, as would pre-production on a new game in the Mass Effect series.